The One with the Last Day

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The last day of summer school comes and goes. I try to find a way to fill time with expected absences (One kiddo told me, “Why did you tell me I had to come today?” to which I had to bite my tongue and not say, “I didn’t think you’d actually listen to me!”) and no new content. I end up having kiddos draw mathematics class for their opening and then fill it by having them reflect on the year and write cards to themselves and each other.

Photo: Someone’s drawing from the opening. Quite a few have the content and language objectives.Last Day of Summer School.jpg

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

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The One With Writing Practice

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Project pages continue on, even though we’ve been away on a field trip. Planning Partner and I have been working on writing scaffolds for a few years and it kind of feels like we’re getting somewhere (though I wish I’d made it clearer to students that they can either choose the more scaffolded version on one side or the less scaffolded version on the other. Womp)

Photo: Student writing drafts2017-07-10 14.30.07-2What do you observe? What do you wonder?

(Swear I did not bribe them to put “quietness” as their answer. Though in retrospect)

(Also, apologies to the 1 or 2 of you who might possibly subscribed to get immediate blog posts. I’m about to go back and fill in some gaps. There’s apparently a way to get a digest instead of individual posts, so…)

Good Enough for Now: The Field Trip

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You might say that it’s bananas to execute a field trip during a 5-week summer school program and you might be right.

We do it anyway.

Field trip chaperoning means not really having enough time to take photos, so here’s a picture of the handout that we had kiddos do on the walk over to the park. Shout out to this kiddo who painstakingly circled all the storm drains on the way over (the field trip had an environmental focus. Kind of.)2017-07-09 20.16.16Other fun quotes and memories:

“MISTER, asì nacì, asì voy a morir.“-one of my advisees, when I caught him swearing (again). Translated: “MISTER, I was born this way, I will die this way.”

I also spent about 10 minutes trying to teach one of our students that it’s impolite to ask teachers (especially female teachers) how old they are. Didn’t get far with that one. Also, guesses of my age, by students: 25, 45, 30, 37, 32, 35. Number sense is getting better, but not really.

Kiddo, umprompted: “Mister, you speak French?”

Me (What?): “Um. No.”

Same kiddo: “That’s what math is like for me! No like math.”

Me: “Oh. Um. Je parle Francais.” (Kiddo doesn’t buy it)

As happens with our kiddos, there is soccer. There are several kiddos sporting honest-to-God soccer jerseys and fancy sweats that are probably out of my price range (and in all fairness, these kiddos probably play on several, super intense teams that are deserving of jerseys and more). When one team slaughters the other, we jokingly suggest that we shuffle players so that they have the same number of “official jerseys” on each side (the kiddos say no). The one female player eventually stalks off, amidst a string of curses. Comments about caballeros (translation: gentlemen) fall on deaf ears.

I play soccer with a few of the kiddos afterwards. I barely made the 8th grade team in middle school. I have not progressed much beyond there (but that’s good enough for now).

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

Where did that paper go?

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Handing back papers so the kiddos can finish ones they haven’t finished and can get some feedback on the papers I have gotten around to grading (spoiler alert: not as many as I’d hoped).

I collect the papers at the end of the period so that I can go home and grade them. Many kiddos don’t have all the papers to turn in. I ask them to check backpacks and notebooks. Sometimes they get lost.

One kiddo in particular insists that he never got his papers back.

I check his notebook 5 minutes after class ends.2017-07-05 17.35.12

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One With the Graphing Project Page (Number 2)

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Admittedly, I’m not backwards planning this summer unit as well as I’d like to. We spend Fridays working on a summative-esque project page. Last week, we used real data to make graphs. This week was supposed to be more of a focus on using linear functions to make predictions, but we ended spending a worthwhile day making a table and then a graph from a situation. (I also wish we’d done something with equations, but that’s for another time).

2017-06-30 21.00.16Photo: Student work. This kiddo was rather stymied because the (correctly scaled) axes made her graph too small to see the change over time. So we worked to redraw the axes (growing by 5 instead of 10).

What do you observe? What do you wonder?

The One Where the Equation Pushes the Representations

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In our abbreviated summer program, we’re going through linear functions. Kiddos are great at tables and pretty good at graphs. So now it’s on to using equations to generate those representations.

I feel like we could probably push more on what the different parts of the equation mean (slope, y-intercept) and I almost wish we were doing more with really big numbers (to make using an equation worth it rather than just counting or multiplying), but it feels important to build intuition around how to use linear functions and equations.2017-06-29 13.52.56-2

Photo: Student work. What do you observe? wWhat do you wonder?

The One with the Extension

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Our school/summer program works with a wide range of prior student knowledge. As such, I feel like teachers sometimes talk about whether they feeling stronger supporting students with interrupted education or students who need more of a challenge (the two extremes of the spectrum). For whatever reason, I often think of myself who is (mildly) better at supporting students who are struggling.

So I’m pretty pleased with how Wednesday’s extension went. We started with a 3 Reads problem that I’ve done before (the first one I ever wrote and, surprisingly, one of the strongest ones I’ve taught). It ties in pretty well with the content we’re studying right now – linear functions and volume. Most of the class tried to figure out how many boxes there were be if a certain number of boxes kept appearing every day. The one group that was farther ahead got yardsticks and had to estimate if all the boxes would fit on the third floor, which involved actual estimating and modeling (if you think I’m letting kiddos out into the hallway to roam free during last period, you might be confused).

2017-06-28 13.58.17-1Photo: Student answer sheet and calculations: What do you observe? What do you wonder?